By: Matt Foster
Each year I purchase five different states’ fishing licenses and travel all over to catch crappie. Last March, I had the opportunity to fish with Corey Thomas who owns Lake Days Guide Service. The day I fished with Thomas on Dale Hollow Lake, we pulled Crappie Magnet Pro Series Fin Spins on planer boards and caught so many fish my arms started cramping! Most of the fish we caught were right at two pounds with the largest being a 2.57-pound black crappie. I’ve always heard how good Dale Hollow Lake was for Smallmouth Bass, but according to Thomas, crappie fishing at Dale Hollow is some of the best in the country.
Thomas, who has twenty-plus years of fishing experience, is going into his second full year of guiding on Dale Hollow and Lake Cumberland. As any good crappie fisherman knows, certain times of the year call for different techniques. Although he’s known for pulling planer boards, lately Thomas has been locating crappie on his Garmin Livescope and having his clients cast to them.
The best way to book a trip is to call him at (270) 566-1152 or message him on Facebook. “My rate is $500 per trip and I take up to 2 people. In the spring on trolling trips, I will take an additional person for an additional fee, with no deposit required at this time” said Thomas. I asked Thomas about his cancellation policy and he replied, “If something comes up, let me know as soon as possible. Just remember I book 8-12 months out so if you cancel, it could be the next year before we have a date to reschedule.
I then asked Thomas the question that almost every guide I know gets asked on a daily basis. When is the best time to go? Thomas said, ” Best time of year just depends on how you want to fish for them. If you want to troll or want a three-pound plus fish then early spring is the time. If you enjoy catching lots of pound and three-quarter plus fish then any time of year is the best time.” The trip usually starts around daylight and clients will fish until they catch a limit or eight hours. “I provide all tackle and bait. For tackle, we use exclusively B’n’M Rods and the entire line of Crappie Magnet products.
Thomas said, “Clients should bring any food or drinks they want for the trip. I have a cooler on board for them to use. We will fish in any conditions that the clients want as long as safety is not an issue. I will give you my opinion of the conditions and we can try to reschedule if needed. Rain gear is not provided, and I always encourage people to be prepared even if it’s a slight chance.”
“I clean and package the catch for clients to take home. For lodging, I highly recommend Dale Hollow Marina or Dale Hollow Marina at Cedar Hill. Both of these marinas are family-owned. They have a wide variety of lodging options such as fisherman cabins, up to three-bedroom cabins, floating cabins, and even houseboats. All of the lodging options are very nice and very reasonably priced. In addition, this is where I start my guide trips from,” said Thomas.
If you have been thinking about booking a guide trip to catch some giant black crappie, I highly suggest giving Thomas a call to get on the list. Dale Hollow Lake is like no other lake I’ve ever fished. It was without a doubt the trip of a lifetime for me, and I know it will be for you too!